EU aiming to achieve herd immunity by July

The European Commission is confident it can achieve herd immunity by the middle of the year.

The optimistic forecast is based on 70 per cent of the EU’s adult population being inoculated by mid-July.

“We are confident that we will be able to produce a sufficient number of vaccines to achieve the goal of collective immunity, which means that 70% of the adult population would have been vaccinated by mid-July,” European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton told Greek newspaper To Vima.

Breton said he was confident the EU has enough vaccine doses needed to fulfill the EU Vaccines Task Force target, with more than 400 million doses expected to be distributed in the second quarter.

Currently, 21 per cent of the EU’s population has been vaccinated. Malta is leading the 27-nation bloc with nearly half (47%) of its population inoculated, followed by Hungary (37%).

Germany, Spain, France and Italy have only vaccinated around one in five adults.

“Member states need to be ready to speed up vaccinations,” Breton said.